Therapy

I like this image, it reminds me that it’s the key stone – in the middle – that holds up a strong arch. Sometimes the arch, or bridge is strong enough it walk on, once the key stone is in place,

thats what therapy is about for me, finding that keystone – of believing in it, trusting in it, maybe learning to walk on it ?

I know people have been advising me for some time (on this blog) to go for therapy, and many people have recounted how significant the process has been for them in their sobriety. Can you understand if I say I was a bit reluctant because I knew, deep down, that the casualty of my being honest in a therapeutic relationship was likely to be my partnership with (ex) Mr Lily. I honestly did not expect that just by getting sober, everything would change as it has, but on reflection, the clarity that comes with ongoing sobriety has forced me to face the problems that’s have always been there….

I feel sad, but I also feel I have done everything I possibly could to hold this together. Probably more than I should have done, certainly more than I would expect anyone else to have done. If I have reached the “end of the road” , it’s not because I haven’t tried. I don’t feel I have to reproach myself.

So now that I have started therapy, I think (hope) this process of self realisation and  examination will prevent me from repeating mistakes I have made in my personal life over and over again. I also now understand why some therapists don’t like to work with people who drink too much / take drugs.  It’s because, when intoxicated so often, with the best intentions you can’t be in touch with your real feelings …

So .. Do you know what? I’m ok. I thought I would crumble, collapse and become totally incapable. I haven’t . Slowly I’m getting stuff done. I’m not crying all day. I’m connecting with MY anger about HIS failings rather than just blaming myself ( and before you go all judgy on me – I know all relationships take two to work and two to fail. But it’s not ALL my fault. And I alone could not have made it work. So I don’t actually have to shoulder ALL the guilt.

I like the lady who is my therapist. She ticks the boxes I had “pre set” but she’s also kind, and human; she helps me see “answers” for myself, but she also answers my questions … Do you think it matters if you ‘like’ your therapist ? I know it matters to me that in’like’ my own GP – in so far as the therapeutic relationship goes … ?

Full of questions. Ironically feeling guilty that I’m not MORE upset at the loss of exP. maybe the onslaught will come, or maybe I just tried so hard for so long to no avail that I’ve just run out of emotion. ….

 

 

Day 13 of singledom

this is hard.

its the loss of the future that’s hard as well as the “missing him”. I do miss him, but I don’t miss the tension in the house, and I don’t miss the anxiety, stress and frustration.

But I am getting better, my concentration has improved, my capacity to do things has increased and I am adjusting.

im not drinking. I have no interest in drinking and despite the stress I’m feeling I don’t even particularly want to ‘escape’ from it.

I want to understand .

i want to know why this has all gone so wrong.

its hard to explain how much I loved this man. I just adored him. Maybe that was the problem from the beginning. Maybe l loved him so much I gave everything, allowed everything, committed everything before I saw what was really going on.

the boys are I are rather confused at the moment. Slightly directionless. I’m both anxious about the future and too busy worrying about now to care. I’m seeking solitude but then don’t know what to do with myself. I want to exercise but feel weak because I can’t eat. I feel like I need closure, but don’t now what closure looks like, or feels like. He now wants to go to couples counselling. I both want to, and don’t want to. I can’t see the point and yet I want to make my points and have them acknowledged. But I know that they won’t be. He might listen ( in the presence of a third party) but I doubt he will HEAR.

IM SO ANGRY, and then again I’m totally apathetic.

Im also bored, but I have a hundred things to do.

Basically I have no stability, no structure, no certainty, I’m lurching from one day / hour to the next. I hate this.

But im lighter than I was . I can see this, feel this , know this.

 

Tuesday

I can’t believe the last post I made was 3 days ago.

ive been very busy, but I don’t feel much further forward.

yesterday I tool all three of my sons, and B’s new girlfriend to a theme park for the day. We went to collect her, drove some way to the park and then did the reverse, at 6 PM. I’m exhausted today. That’s probably why I’m so flat.

Of all the moods and emotions I have, I hate this one the most. Apathy, fatigue, ennui. Everything seems pointless. I see only the negative, the worst possible outcomes. I distrust my own judgement, I struggle to get anything at all done.

im still sober, that’s honestly right now, the only good thing I can see about this whole mess.

So. I’m going to force myself to write what I know in my head and see if I can believe it in my heart…

  • no1 son is happier and more focussed and positive than I have seen him in years
  • i have done a brave thing ending a relationship that was making me unhappy
  • i am strong and capable and there is nothing I cannot manage (or find someone who can)
  • The house is happier.
  • my kids are at critical times in their lives; they need me.

I will be ok.

i took Bianca and Lola for a ride early in the morning – photo above – I didn’t fall off, but I have a lot of training to do if I am to ride 100 miles in a day !

Sending you all love. Lily 🌷

Relapse

Not alcohol, don’t panic. !

Today I saw exP. I had several reasons for doing so. One was that he has seemed to me to still be in denial about the current state of affairs; he says he doesn’t understand why I had called time on our relationship; I feel more stable and able to manage. I have to be able to regain some kind or normality soon – I can’t stay off work forever, and I need to regain some equilibrium.

Of course he was contrite. Of course he was nice. Of course he was sorry. Of course he agreed that I had valid points. Of course he apologised for behaviour that he agreed had been unacceptable. We conducted an adult and respectful conversation for 90 minutes or so.

Why on earth does it have to take this much disruption, me locking him out, ending a relationship of 6 years, splitting a family, disrupting my life; why can’t he listen to me before I have to go ballistic?

I Feel I have backtracked, I saw him, alone. To some extent his remorse has touched me. He reminded me, of course, of the man I fell in love with. I’m no longer so angry . I’m no closer to removing his stuff from my house.

On the other hand he is not here. I made it clear he cannot live here. I clearly restated my deal breakers and my fundamental belief that the main problem is our inability to communicate in an adult way. That he is inherantly a critical person, and I have low self esteem, which doesn’t exactly make things easy.

i should feel better. I don’t really. I feel weak. I feel I have let people down . I feel ashamed of myself again. Although I suppose as long as I keep him away from my kids, that’s the main point.

in short. I should feel better, I do in a way. But I think it’s false security. I don’t trust him, but I don’t trust myself either. I feel I’ve exposed myself again. Made myself vulnerable. Allowed him to see my weakness. Given him a way to start getting back in.( or at least given him a reason to think he might)  Not made the clean break I had intended.

depressed, flat and sad tonight. At least I’m sober.

Sorry. Giving up him seems harder than giving up alcohol although I’m not sure he’s any better for me ….

 

 

 

 

 

Asking for support

I’m reaching out today. I feel extremely vulnerable today.

i am very very aware that my ExP has ‘talked me round’ from this position (when I have said our relationship is untenable) previously. It’s now a week since I locked him out. Since the proverbial “camels back” snapped over something that was, in itself quite trivial.

the deal breakers underlying, are anything but trivial.

always previously, he has talked me round. Persuaded me that what I feel is wrong. That his reasoning is correct. Sometimes, he will promise that things will be different, of course they never are.

I am afraid this time is coming. I am afraid that once he thinks I have ‘calmed down’ , the charm offensive will start. And I will struggle to resist him. Despite the fact that I know, I know, this relationship cannot work. I don’t know why I think he will be able to erode my resolve, but I do. I have such shit self esteem that I struggle to trust myself at all.

I have said I will not see him alone. I can’t. But even in my own head the doubts are creeping in.

I saw my therapist this morning, and we talked about exactly this. He has no POWER really, it’s all in my head.

I can do this. I stopped drinking, I can end a relationship which is making me unhappy.

So why am I so scared?

Breathe in ; breathe out

This piece is written by Danielle LaPorte, and was kindly posted on my site. I am reproducing it with appropriate credit to the original author.

When I first read it, I was too distressed to properly take it in. I read it again today, calmer, and it resonated strongly with me. I coloured it green, because it seems life affirming to me.

Are you hanging by a thread?
It’s hard. It’s wrenching. It’s incredibly painful and it’s difficult to feel lightness.

Or to see clearly.

Hanging by a thread can be really disorienting. What you’re going through undeniably sucks.

Listen to me: It’s going to be okay. You’re going to get through this. You can do it. Baby, you ARE doing it.

You’re getting through this. Right now your cells are plumping up and your heart is beating and you have your breath. *In breath. Out breath.* It’s really okay if you have to get that basic about getting through it.

In breath, out breath. Sun’s gonna rise. It’s going to be okay.

Take encouragement from strangers. Like me. Go ahead. Take it. It’s free and I don’t feel karmically entangled. So listen to me: It’s going to be okay.

This will not kill you.

Do you believe in angels? If you don’t, just believe in them for the next twenty fours. There are a hundred thousand angels by your side.

You’re probably feeling devastatingly alone, like an iceberg drifting. No one can hear you cracking. It’s cold. But, just like an iceberg, you have so much beneath the surface. Years of layers and lifetimes of experience and strengths to call on — skills of expanding consciousness that you didn’t even know you had. You will not sink.

People have been through what you’re going through right now. Thousands of them.

Really and truly. Your picture of heartbreak, your strain of pain is part of the human fabric, and that tapestry is holding you like an Eskimo blanket. Other people have survived this and when they got out of the hole, they left a morphogenic popcorn trail out of the pain. You can trace their steps.

It may be hard to believe right now, but not only will it be okay, not only will you get through and over this, you will thrive again. You will be clear and vibrant and INCREDIBLE.

You will not only have more character to pull out at parties and wisdom to offer the world, but you will feel more joy than you think is possible right now.

You will.

You may walk with a limp. You may wince when you look back (understandable) you may cry unexpectedly in the book store, but you’ll be more alive, and more You. You will be strong. And you will feel a curious sensation of being more useful. And it will feel really, really fantastic.

What you’re going through right now is so difficult.

And it’s going to be okay.

More than okay.

Love,
Danielle

Day 6 and Day 167

Day 167 sober.

One hundred and sixty seven days. With NO alcohol. I’ve survived the breakdown of my relationship, enjoyed a sober holiday, been on lots of nights out, hosted and attended lunch and dinner parties. And I have not drunk alcohol.

I would have drunk, conservatively, 192 bottles of wine in this period. That would have cost me (again conservatively) £1530. I’m broke now, but hey, less broke than I would have been.

For anyone reading who is in the early days, struggling, relapsed, or simply does not beleive they can do this… YOU CAN. You really really can. Slowly, one day at a time. Carefully, with due respect for your triggers and prioritising your sobriety . YOU CAN . I don’t think about it that much now, at least compared to the early days. Maybe twice a day I remember that I am sober, maybe once a week I wonder, briefly, if I could / should drink.

This week I told my brother and my mother that I have been sober for almost 6 months. My brother never judges (he has always had an off switch) and was pleased for me. My mother was clearly astonished, but in the bigger crisis of the moment, let it pass without the usual reminders of exactly how shit my drinking had made her feel. Phew !

And, Day 6. Day 6 since breaking what I had hoped would be a lifelong partnership. This is early days again. Raw, exposed, painful. Confused, distressing, discombobulating. ( I love that word, although I do not think its a REAL word) and the last 6 days have been HARD.

i expected that, and I expect it to continue for a while.

But, there is a light, and not a tiny light either , at the end of the tunnel. I feel lighter, calmer, less anxious. My children are undoubtedly happier. There are problems and troubles; some practical, some emotional, to come. I will manage.

When I think about the worst possible things that could happen now that ExP is not here, not one seems as impossible to manage / negotiate as the deal breakers in our relationship that I have been wrestling with (alone) for the last few years.

One day at a time. Just like sobriety. Plan, respect yourself, take care of yourself, be aware of triggers, don’t look at forever. Just be kind to yourself and keep on going.

i can do this too.

( the photo is sunrise over Tresco, it’s not my image so I use it with thanks to the photographer)

Therapist

today I went to meet a potential therapist. This is the second. I didn’t feel comfortable with the first and was quite anxious about meeting this one. I pick quite carefully, as there are plenty to choose from. I wanted a woman, of my sort of age or older, someone with quite a few years  under their belt (doctors are notoriously dreadful patients) someone who has maybe treated health professionals before. I wanted someone who works, or has worked within the NHS because the training and supervision is very good. I wanted someone warm I could talk to.

This lady, I think it’s ok to call her by her name, Angela, was astute, and in 5 minutes she had grasped that what I need right now is validation that I have made the right choice about exP, and emotional support to not waver.

I need an astute therapist, one who can hear not only what I do say, but what I don’t.

She was also kind. And gentle. I liked her, and she helped me.

I will go again on Friday and then probably weekly.

I have achieved NOTHING else today, but I think that’s ok, and in 1/2 hour I WILL take son No3 to the theatre in London for the treat I have been promising him.

It’s day 5 today, if Friday was day 1 and bar a small altercation on the doorstep this morning I have avoided direct contact with ExP. I need to do this or he  will talk me round as he has done so after before …

Baby steps.

 

Feelings Mark 2

I have posted before about my difficulty connecting with my “feelings”. Sometimes I don’t know what I feel – I mean really Don’t know what I feel.

other times, like now I DO know, but I don’t trust it.

This morning I Feel better, I feel calmer, I feel less anxious, I feel that my future will be better without him.

But I feel guilty for thinking that, and I can’t help feeling ( or is it thinking) that I am somehow wrong.

He (exP) tells me that he misses me, but if I examine my feelings minutely , I don’t miss him. Last night me and sons 1 and 3 sat in our front room after I had made the boys’ dinner. We watched the “jungle book”, the new adaptation. Son #3 and I cuddled up on the sofa , and son 1 kept 1/2 ( or perhaps 3/4) of an eye on his phone. Lola snoozed on her bed. I drank a couple of Becks blue lemon, and donated one to son 1 (in the absence of any ‘proper’ alcohol he seemed happy enough with it)

An unremarkable, I dare say boring, family evening. But. For us it was pretty special. No one yelling at the kids to get their feet off he sofa (he exp- lay with his feet on the sofa ALL THE TIME) no bad atmosphere because the kids were ‘in adult space’ ; no brooding presence because we were watching something he didn’t want to, NO TENSION. bliss.

I was thinking about the end of my marriage. I struggled for a long time trying to MAKE exH see that smoking pot all day in front of kids who were then 8,5 and 2 was a bad role model, unsafe, made him paranoid and very scary. To me it was SO obvious, why couldn’t I make him understand it? The break point came when he took son#1 to a gig in London one evening. Son 1 was 11 years old. My ExH got so paralytically drunk / drugged, that he was asked to leave the club. He was in no state to get home, so son #1had to work out how to get a paralytically drunk man home from central London. In the days before he had a mobile, with only his wits to help him. That was enough. It was as though he (exH) had to do something SO awful that no one could put up with it, before I was “allowed” to call it a day.

But it took me several weeks to work out that it didn’t really matter if HE (exH) thought his behaviour was acceptable. I DID NOT, and that my feelings and beliefs were just as Viable and valuable and important as his. And I could not MAKE him understand me because he DID NOT WANT TO CHANGE. Oh, and that I did not need his agreement to divorce him.

Fast forward to now. The reasons that my relationship with my exP (formally known as Mr Lily although we are not married) is over are MY reasons. They are deal breakers FOR ME. And he will never agree, he will never think I’m being reasonable. But I Do. And that IS good enough. He will not agree, he will not understand. That will not happen. And I will wait forever for the day that he says ” yes, you are right, I have behaved unreasonably ”

I am afraid, that he will undermine me if I see him. That he will convince me again that I am WRONG. that it’s ridiculous, stupid, blinkered , that I don’t know what I Feel. And that what I feel is stupid.

I need to think about this. Why should I believe his version of My reality? Why do I do that? Is he coercive? Emotionally abusive? Just outspoken? Harsh, cruel. I don’t know. Or is the “fault” mine, that I have not stood up for myself ( or the boys) enough, not argued each little point that I disagreed with, allowed him leeway, which he took as tacit agreement – that I agreed with him. Am in fact as wrong as he says I am?

Why have I ignored my “feelings”, no , my deepest instinct telling me, SCREAMING AT ME THAT THIS IS NOT OK, for such a long time? Why have I not raised this issues In a take it or leave it way? I have been questioning the future of this relationship for 3 years.

What is wrong with me?

And WHY am I still not 100% sure it’s done. Because it should be. And not one person, even HIS friends, who have seen inside this house what goes on, have said that I should consider ‘the other side’; not one.

 

Son 1

 

Yesterday was for me about son #1. Forgive this, and skip it if you either don’t have kids, or they have never given you a moments worry!! Son#1 ( I will call him B) was born to me as a single mother. His biological father has never seen him or had anything at all to do with him. He signed over parental rights to B (to my ex husband who adopted him) when B was 3. It took me a VERY LONG TIME, to see that it was not I, who failed B (although I take my share of less than perfect behaviour) but his useless feckless father who abandoned his responsibilities as a FATHER.  I have not yet forgiven myself for the “mistake” of conceiving a child in these circumstances.

So B and I were a unit, from the beginning. We lived in one room in my mother’s house. I had £50 a week maternity allowance and NOTHING else. B was prem, sickly and had reflux. He had apnoea one day and was blue lighted to hospital – that was probably the worst day of my life. But, I’m tough, and I was a qualified GP (family doctor) so from 3 months old I started working, part time, locum shifts to start with. Found child care, upped my hours and when B was 11 months old I applied for and got a partnership in a local practice – where I still am today. I bought us a small house, B thrived. All good.

Then I met my ex husband. He is the subject of another blog post. And the reasons why I married him are the subject of about 2 blog posts, I think. But I did, and sons 2 and 3, both planned, came along. All good you might think. Except that exH was a drug addict (cannabis – and later cocaine- and cannabis, like alcohol is probably OK for most people – but for some it is most definitely NOT OK) my exH fell into the latter category.  A messy, painful, frightening, desperate few years passed, and I divorced him.

to his credit exH has always treated B as his own son, and this continued after we divorced.

I identified early that B was not quite like other kids. He smiled late, he never had separation anxiety, his speech was a little delayed, he had odd phrases, and these persisted after you would expect them to have stopped. He was not fully and reliably dry till about 6. But, even though I am a bloody doctor, I never put 2 & 2 together to get the correct answer. I think I might have done if he had had an older sibling, but he was my first.  He went to school and struggled. Eventually, aged 9 he got a diagnosis of moderate dyslexia, followed swiftly by a positive assessment for Asperger’s syndrome.

It’s  mild. The aspergers, but it has shaped his whole life. You don’t see it when he is with adults, as he has trained himself to make pretty good eye contact and he is articulate. You don’t see it with younger kids, who will do as an older child directs, But you do see it with his peers, where he is “odd” and they exclude him. This happened again and again, and you can’t make kids be kind to each other. The full extent of the bullying he felt at junior school has only very recently come to my attention.

He started stealing, and lying compulsively. He started ordering things on the internet meant for adults, he skipped school. He was expelled from school for theft (on CCTV ) and arrested for possession of cannabis. By now he was 14/15. Academic study stopped. He got in with the wrong crowd because he was so desperate for friends. He failed all but 3 of his GCSE exams ( for my non UK readers, a child of his ability should have got 8-10 good passes) significantly he did not pass English.

He took a resit year. Did no work, spent almost  all his time with a girl I cannot say I was pleased with. Failed again.

In the meantime his weight has doubled, he had no motivation to exercise, was unable to find even a part time job, was sullen, uncommunicative and his future looked very very bleak indeed.

And all the time ( from aged 13 probably) exP has been imposing increasingly severe and unkind sanctions on him. Bullying him, humiliating him, criticising him, calling him ‘fat’ and ‘ useless’ . Not always, but enough. And he would not see that it was wrong. The fact that he has limited relationships with his own adult children, now seems extremely relevant.

Dont get me wrong, the compulsive lying and the theft – from family, friends, school, our friends, us, me his grandparents – has been very, very hard. I have hated it. But you can’t hold what he did at 14/15 over his head for ever. He’s now almost 18 and I don’t believe he has stolen anything for at least 12 months.

One of the biggest deal breakers for exP and I has been his relationship with B. We went to family therapy for a while, but exP would not really engage.

Until B and I went to the Army recruitment centre; until this last fortnight on the NCS programme, until he dumped the odious girlfriend (he has done so) I saw little hope. By letting go of ExP I have provided him with his safe space again, at home.

The future is still uncertain. It won’t be easy. But at least now there is hope.

Being a mother is hard. But I love him, and he is MY son. He is kind, can be very considerate, has learned to control his temper – he never ever scares me like exP does and he’s just as strong – he’s good natured, and given the right opportunity I do believe he will  thrive …

i know it will take me years to forgive myself for not removing exP from his life years ago.

First meeting with a different therapist tomorrow : and another on Friday. I need the right person.

 

 

 

A moment of clarity

In the last 4 days I have blogged at my lowest and most desperate. When sobbing and berating myself. 

Tonight I feel better. I have had a lightening of mood and more peace from my thoughts. Son 1 is home, and fine. But mainly, reading what you have written to me, all of you, and especially those who have also left relationships that were not good for them, has helped me enormously.

I’m calmer, more settled, and more optimistic. I’m not stupid enough to think this will last, but it’s nice for now. 

I have an appointment to see a therapist at 2pm on Weds, and another at 11 am on Friday .. So I’m moving that forward somewhat too. 

So thank you xxx All. Thank you. 

Lily 🌷

Early sobriety

Do you remember the first wobbly days of sobriety ?

I remember clinging on, hour by hour – sometimes in blocks of 5 minutes at a time, holding on to the thought that alcohol was harming me, and that I had to get away from it. I remember feeling raw, as though my skin was rubbed with sandpaper all over. As though each nerve ending was super sensitive. I had no equilibrium, and no idea how to manage trigger points without alcohol. I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t concentrate, couldn’t look past that day.

That’s where I am now. 

And although there have been so many good times with exP, and he’s not ‘bad’ for me like alcohol. I’m not sure he’s that good for my family either. 

Today I have hoovered up an enormous cobweb. I have seen my mother. I have arranged for new keys to be cut. Now I HAVE to answer a few emails. Later son 1 and 3 will come home, the Internet food order will arrive so I can feed them. 

And that is all I can do. That’s it. But it’s probably OK, enough. For another day. 

Negotiations

And so it begins.

a mutual friend , who has been talking to my ExP, asks if there is anything left to talk about, any negotiations, any point in talking. And what would be my condition of this?

i want to say no.

I want to say yes.

in the end I say I don’t know.

Reflection is impossible to avoid, although I am trying hard to do this. I am clear that I am extremely angry with exP. there are some things I think I will find impossible to forgive. If i even wanted to try .

If I do not try, will I regret it?

i have said that I will neither see nor speak to him alone – that the only circumstance under which I would consider ‘talking’ would be in a safe space, with a neutral, professional third party.

Im not sure I can be bothered. There is so so much that would need to change . And a fundamental change of attitude that meant I was listened to, my needs considered as equally important.

And i can’t  help feeling that this “offer” comes too late in the day, under duress and with no genuine desire to do anything differently. Just a lip service, a token effort to shut me up, and put me back in my “box”.

Right now, I’m distressed, consumed with anxiety, rumination and unable to be distracted – even by my favourite yoga class. But I think this will pass, and I shouldn’t try to ‘fix it’, because it’s normal.

I certainly shouldn’t allow myself to be bamboozled by more bloody meaningless words and promises of change. So I should wait for actions, deliverables ….

There isn’t really a hurry. So I think “I don’t know” was probably good enough for now, and time will tell what comes next.

To bed, for another sleepless night made worse by the bloody menopausal hot flushes that have seen fit to recur at this time. Gentian and valerian tabs not really cutting it right now.

 

Another day

I’m still here, I’m still sober (although its hard not to drink right now, it’s oddly not the hardest thing) and I’m still alone.

all these things are good.

also good is that I went to see a showcase production yesterday by the group of young people (16 -17) that son No 1 has been away with for the last two weeks. The umbrella organisation is called National Citizens Service, and they provide 4 week long programmes for young people to help them gain confidence and teach them skills such as teamworking, confidence and project delivery.

it was hard for me to go yesterday as I was very tearful, but I’m so glad I did. Not just to support son 1, but because the whole thing was inspirational. The young people were amazing; self assured and modest, creative, supportive of each other,  and all had achieved so much. At the end, one of the leaders came to find me, and said that my son was outstanding , that he had been resourceful, supportive, enthusiastic and very kind. He, my son, looked fantastic – happy, bright eyed, part of a team. After years of ExP telling me daily what a loser he is, well – it was wonderful.

My son has also met a young woman there. She is bright, articulate and enthusiastic. They are planning to meet again when the projects are over. This means that his previous unambitious, manipulative, sulky, girlfriend is an ex. I’m happy about this too. 😈😈😈

beyond that, and that was a big big plus. I’m not great. Very tearful, very distracted, very sad. It helps that I have support from my brother, my sister in law and  my friends. I can’t eat, I ache all over, I can’t concentrate and I’ve started to be plagued by the “did I do the right thing” questions.

I KNOW in my head that I have done. I know nothing will change and I have been unhappy for a long time. I know we were not a true partnership , and I know I, and my boys, deserve better.

But I did love him. I probably still do love him. But I can’t live as we were. And he has proved time and time again that he does not consider my unhappiness as good enough reason to change, to talk to me, to consider doing anything differently.

I have recognised that I cannot work in my current state. I have told my practice manager I can’t come in next week (and why) I need some time. The week after that I am on holiday anyway.

i will go to my GP early this week. I need help, and I know she will be kind. I also need a therapist. Pretty urgently now, I need some professional help to support me.

I have decided to limit contact with exP. as far as possible I will not email, text, etc. And I will certainly not see him. I need space.

I will tell people. Actually most people want to help, and they can’t help – even by just being kind, if they don’t know that I’m struggling.

Today I will walk Lola, I need to get some food in, at least for son 3. ExP,s stuff is all over the house. I need to start ‘containing it’ because it reminds me of what I have lost. I might ask for help doing this.

I will go to yoga. I may cry all the way through, but I will go. I think I will feel better after, and I will have a sauna as well.

Thats it. Nothing more taxing.

Thank you for your lovely messages. I will respond, but it may take me a day or two. Please believe me when I say that I do really apprechiate each and every one, and the time you have taken to respond to an Internet blogger who is struggling.

at least I don’t have a hangover.

Help

Yesterday Mr Lily and I went our separate ways. I will now refer to him as exP, it feels , um, cleaner.

I don’t really want to get in to the whys and wherefores, as I wrote yesterday I feel it would invade his privacy. Perhaps it’s enough to say that ultimately this was a communication issue that we have been unable to resolve. It was / is a deal breaker for me, and hard though it is, I can see no alternative to separation. I believe this is the final break.

But today I’m all over the shop. I can’t stop crying. Son no 2 has gone away with some friends this morning and I’m ashamed to say I wept and wept, I have this need to hold those I love close to me at the moment – and I will miss him. Of course I still have son 3, Lola the dog and friends around me. J and K are aware, and very kind – they of course have more than enough to deal with right now.

So why am I so distraught? This has been coming for literally ages. I do not believe I could have done more to avert it. I suggest couples counselling months ago, exP was not interested.

  • i have lost my future. I hoped we would be together for ever.
  • i am a single parent again to two teenagers and an almost teenager. I’m scared I will not do well
  • i have failed, again, to maintain a relationship that was so so important to me
  • i have a demanding and consuming job, right now I can barely concentrate to make a cup of tea. I drove through a red light yesterday.
  • physically I feel appalling, I have diarrhoea, no appetite, headache and no energy at all
  • I have ripped the boys’ home apart again – no 3 does not remember when his  biological father was at home, ExP is the only father figure he remembers living with. He is sanguine for now – but I am feeling the strain
  • i thought he cared for me and I just do not understand why he could not have put himself out, done one thing, to try and save the relationship that he claimed meant so much. Perhaps it didn’t mean that much at all, and I was indeed just a convenience – that hurts worst of all.

im grieving and I’m in shock ; I sort of know this.

I have made some lists – now, short term, longer term.

I can’t eat, but I am drinking (fluids! Not alcohol)

today I have walked the dog and this is a good achievement. One day at a time. It will get better, and I will be ok.

To those of you (L and Mary) who specifically said that finding my blog has helped them get sober – that is such an enormous compliment- thank you from the bottom of my heart. There is a lot more to come I think! I do not think this split is because I am sober, the issues were already there. I do think being sober has given me the courage, strength and belief to accept that this can never make me content, so I will either be unhappy for ever, or I change it.

And to everyone else – just thank you for being there, keeping company , holding my hand. This feels much much much worse than when my marriage ended, but maybe I’m just feeling the reality rather than drinking it away ….

 

 

 

 

 

Tough stuff

There is tough stuff happening. 

I am ok ish, but rather wobbly. I can’t write about it, but I can’t write about anything else either. I can’t think about anything else.

I am sober, and digging deep to stay so. This is bad, but drinking won’t make it better.

I’ve been swimming with no 3 son, and trying to focus on longer term goals. 

Please don’t worry, I’m ok.

Lily 🌷

PS sorry to be cryptic. The issue relates to my relationship, and as mr lily has or had, access here I don’t wish to invade his privacy by dissecting the details. I have some Kalms gentian /valerian tabs that help me sleep .. and tomorrow is another day . Thank you for your kind supportive posts x🌷

Planning

Today is the last day of our holiday. As always, when I’m here I don’t want to leave. This tiny island, of the south west coast of England is a very special place for me. I feel deeply connected to every place here, and profoundly contented and complete when I am here.

As always, when it’s almost time to leave, I collect a list of available holiday dates in different cottages for the next season. I compare what’s available with the children’s school holidays, and wonder if I could pull them from school two days early, to catch a week in a favoured dwelling spot. Because the island is tiny, accommodation is very limited and gets booked up very quickly, especially in school holidays.

This time, I’m looking for a place where we can all stay, J & K and their son, as well as us 5. Then I remember that we don’t know how J will be. We really don’t. And it comes home again to me how the uncertainty of illness affects everything. And, further to that, that life itself is uncertain, and all the planning and manipulation and wishing in the world, can’t provide certainty. And that this of course, is why we should seize each day, make the best of every experience ‘in the minute’, and enjoy what we have right now. I can’t bear to think of J not being able to come here, with us again, so I’m going to plan, at least in my head, as though he will be able to ….

And if he IS able to, and doesn’t want to; well that’s just fine too 🙂

What have I learned from my first ever sober holiday?

  • That I can enjoy myself very well without alcohol
  • that there are some situations best avoided (just as at home to be honest)
  • that the planning I did prior to the trip, helped enormously
  • that the hardest times to refuse a drink were in the simplest experiences- a stop at the pub after an afternoon cycling for example, rather than at a restaurant dinner.
  • that it is a LOT cheaper when you don’t drink
  • That although I have not taken advantage if the early mornings (I have been deeply asleep for an average of 9.5 hours a night) I have loved being 100% fit and involved as soon as I surfaced.

I know I cannot take my continued sobriety for granted, and that that way slippage lies. But I apprechiate it more and more, and the benefits continue to accumulate; this holiday was the last “big thing” I could think of that I have never done sober. And now I have.😎😎😎

I hate drinking

Today everyone is drinking. Since 4 pm the adults have been necking the beer. Now it’s 10.30pm, Mr Lily is drunk and boring, my 14 year old son has somehow managed to get drunk and is staggering around. J & K are not drunk , and are I think equally fed up with the drunkeness. I hate it.

Mr Lily tells me he is unhappy, feels left out and isolated; but he is unable to listen to me long enough to answer questions about how things might be different. He is also completely disinterested in my feelings about our relative estrangement. This is not all alcohol. He’s not the best listener / communicator when sober, but it’s 100% worse when he’s drunk.

i feel like a killjoy. A miserable sober old bag, the one being ‘sensible’, the one insisting on going home . But  I’m bored and agitated sitting In a pub with my alcohol free beer,  whilst the drunk ones  get more  tedious by the minute.

i don’t regret being sober. I don’t want to drink, I find it faintly ridiculous that adults spend so much money to get incapable, aggressive, insensitive and unpleasant. Why bother? I know I did the EVERY SINGLE DAY until 5 months (158 days) ago. Now I feel isolated in my sobriety whist the rest of my contempories, and most important, the person who is supposed to be my partner, drink to drunkeness.

i bought a painting today. And then I bought one for J and K . This made me happy – I have posted a picture of my painting g at the top of this post. To me it’s a happy picture, capturing the essence of this special place.

now I am wondering about the whole foundation of my new sober life. I know relationships change, and I know that I have changed a lot, and am still growing and learning stuff about myself. I can’t change anyone else, all I can change is myself. If I’m unhappy, only I can fix it …

and I am unhappy. Inside, how ever I coat it, however hard I try to ignore it , I am very unhappy. No good answers about how I will change it … But it’s sharply in focus now.

 

 

 

 

Sun, Sea, Sand and Sobriety

I’m very happy in my island paradise. I love it here. I’ve been coming here on and off since I was a very young child with my parents. I had a few years break as a young woman, and them began bringing my own children.

This island is tiny; 2 miles long and 1 wide. It’s gorgeous in every way, (www.tresco.co.uk if anyone is interested) For a tiny island, there is a lot todo. Today we hired a motor boat and island hopped, sunbathing, shell collecting, sketching, paddling and navigating between destinations. My friend J is better than we could have hoped, and enjoying the holiday.

After the initial testing experiences, it’s been easy enough to stay sober; I’m so conscious of how much I have ‘grown’ in the last 5 months, that I really don’t want to lose that, or disrupt my journey in any way.

I’ve been very physically active here – inevitable in someways on an island with no cars ! But I have been running and cycling more than I had to, and enjoyed the endorphin burst from that – I’m hoping to keep it up when I return home.

Ive crept off for a little down time, I’m realising that I am actually quite an introvert and I need time to myself. I love being with my family and friends, but I do need space alone to recharge.

In our travels today, we revisited a beach where an incident occurred that marked the end of my marriage, That was 9 years ago. We had travelled, similar to today to a beach on a neighbouring island. My children were, at that time, 8, 5, and 2. We parked the boat on a beach and walked to the islands hotel for lunch. My the husband was being utterly obnoxious and was clearly off his head on something or other (I don’t know if I mentioned before that he is / was a drug addict). After a difficult lunch we walked back to where the boat was beached. The tide had come up and the boat had floated about 30 m off shore and was stuck on a rocky outcrop, inaccessible except my swimming. Clearly my husband was not going to swim out to the boat, so I asked him to mind our children on the beach. Bear in mind the youngest was 2 years old. He refused to do so and told me to “Look after your own f***ing kids”.

so I explained to my eight year old son that he had to be responsible for his younger brothers on the beach, whilst Mummy swam to get the boat. I swam out, had to dive several times to uncoil the anchor rope, and dragged to boat into the shore, whilst he lay on the beach tripping on something and our children ran around, totally unsupervised by any adult.

i never forgave him for that. And he never apologised. He now says he has forgotten all about it.

i haven’t forgotten, and I doubt I ever will.

Being there today, I realised I have forgiven him. I will never forget, and I will never have respect for him again, but I am no longer angry. Rather I feel quite sorry for him that his addiction was so complete that he could put his children at risk like that and that his “need to be smashed” was so great he could put his wife in such a difficult position. But I’m sad now, not angry any longer, and I know that I will never do such a thing, because I got off the train before I reached that station.

I’m lucky. And I’m counting my blessings.

 

 

 

Day 3

So it’s day 3. I am sober . I AM SOBER, and now I’m confident I will stay that way.

Our holiday is going really well. Yesterday I went cycling, swam in the very cold sea, and ran 5k again. J is amazingly well, I can’t believe how active and healthy he is able to be.

Last night we went out for dinner and met up with some friends. One of the ladies asked me if I was just not drinking temporarily (I had never met her before) and , out of my mouth came the words, “oh no, I don’t drink” … 😀😀 it’s not easy , but it’s feeling natural .

i have walked a lot, reflected a lot, picked up my cardiovascular exercise. And I have slept, slept so deeply, heavily and long… The early mornings I had intended to be taking advantage of with  no hangover, I have been deeply asleep !

The photo above is the view from our cottage, the weather is perfect , which can be a bit hit and miss in the uk. I’m happy, I’m sober and all’s  good with the world .

 

 

 

Relief

I’m still sober.

I have been tested more in the last 36 hours than at any time since I decided to be sober. The sun, the pub, the holiday atmosphere,the ambience. This is classic heavy drinking opportunity. 

I said at the beginning of the blog that I was aiming for an attitude if mind that I didn’t WANT to drink alcohol. I proved to myself in the last 2 days that I’m far away from that utopia. 

I do want to drink. 

But I’m not going to for all the reasons we already know.

So. … I have been very active; today I ran 5k , swam in the freezing cold  sea , and went for a cycle ride. I have stocked up with AF drinks, but most importantly of all I have been very honest with j and k about why I cannot drink. I feel safer now . I think they would try to dissuade me if I went to drink, just as Mr Lily would. 

I have noticed how drinking is ALL around me; every leaflet inviting us to a social event, an outdoor play, a garden tour, an art exhibition, either includes a glass of wine with the price, or advertises free wine on attendance… Everybody is drinking, on the beach, in the pubs, in their boats. The range of gin in sale in the (small)  shop ifs extensive … I’m so aware of it all.

BUT , I can function in the early morning, I feel well , and I have added this (the 2017 version )  http://trescotriathlon.co.uk my list of sporting events I hope to undertake to raise money for prostate cancer .

Thank you for being my sober supporters. I don’t think I could face coming here and telling you all that I’d failed. You all keep me accountable. So today is day 154. I’m sober, and I will not drink tomorrow either 

Made it.

We are here. Left home at 5.30 am, and we are ALL here. At the moment, J is better that I could have hoped and all is well.

i have negotiated my first sober lunch, and found out that the pub sells San Miguel 0%; all good. I’m exhausted and am heading to bed. Lots of thought and lots of challenges, but I’m too tired to articulate any of them,  as well as being just so releived that we made it , I’m having a predictable mood crash,

in reality it’s all good. The place is beautiful, the house is comfortable and well equipped , and the sun is shining. What more to ask?

i need sleep now; night folks – sober hugs and love Lily 🌷Xx

Bianca

this is Bianca. She is my road bike I bought yesterday. She’s been a demo bike for the store so she was going cheap and looking for a premenant home. Bianca is a slip of a thing, I can carry her with one hand.

There are a few quirks about riding Bianca, because she’s so light, it’s quite hard to steer her accurately – and I’ve fallen off twice already! Biancas pedals need clip in shoes, that I’ve never used before. It’s cool when your feet are locked in, more challenging when you need to stop and put a foot to the floor. Another almost fall when I did this !

Me abd Bianca have to do a bit of practicing together to learn each others foibles, but I’m pretty sure we will learn to work together – and a lot of fun awaits us. Pretty soon we will start training for our big race next summer- along with mr lily on his racing bike.

im optimistic, enthusiastic, and inspired. I believe in myself, and I have an outlet for my restless agitation. Bianca is gorgeous and I know she and I can have a great time together abd raise loads of money for a good cause 🙂

What does a woman who loves herself do?

  • The last few days have been emotionally very tough. In truth  they have been the culmination of months of increasing anxiety, stress, and frustration. As I realised at the weekend, I was being made thoroughly miserable by the behavior of two people; and I had no control whatsoever over it. As I know very well you cannot MAKE people change, or do any thing except change ones own reaction to it.

    It made me start thinking about behaviors I have observed in emotionally string people; people I admire. Behaviors an attitudes I would like to try to adopt. Strong, mature , sorted women, who look great , well dressed to suit their figure, women who look well groomed and have a well organised productive fulfilling life….

    In some literatures I’ve seen this described as  “a woman who loves herself” and that’s the  image I’m trying to think of …

    Strong women move on. They don’t waste time feeling sorry for themselves, holding grudges, dissecting imainary slights. they look at whats happened, learn from it and MOVE ON. They accept responsibility for their errors.

    I think Im quite good at accepting responsibility for my behaviour. Probably less good at moving on

    • They embrace change. They welcome challenges, they adapt and change. They have a ‘can do’ attitude rather than moaning ab0ut what they have lost.

    I do find change challenging and some times cling on to the familiar

    • They stay positive . They don’t complain about problem. They don’t waste energy on things they can’t control. They focus on the bits that CAN be controlled and work with that.

    im getting much better at this. I don’t waste energy ftretting about the weather for example; I make contingency plans if required

    Strong women who love themselves are kind, fair, and unafraid to give their opinion. They don’t worry about pleasing other people. They stick up for they bullied, and they stand up to be counted. They dont seek conflict but don’t avoid it either.

    I admire this quality greatly and I am working towards it. personally I HATE conflict . I hate challenging people even what I know they have not behaved well.Not drinking has helped me here as I am able to tate my position less emotionally, more calmly and factually.

    • They are willing to take calculated risks. They weigh the risks and benefits before taking action.

    I can do this. Actually I do it every single day at work and part of my role is supporting and mentoring those who can’t.

    • They accept full responsibility for their past behaviour. They don’t make the same mistake over and over.

    hmmm – took me a long time, but I don’t drink any more

    Im sure there are more. But it help me to look,at where I need to work on my attitudes and behaviours,

    tomorrow we go on holiday . All looks like it’s going ahead.i am looking forward to it very much. I am anxious for my sobriety, but I have my sober toolbox , and 152 sober days behind Me…

Positive thoughts

And a plan.

My friend Tori,  in a recent blog post (http://sothisissober.com/index.php/2016/08/08/stretch/#comments) talks about the

TIME  that is released when you stop drinking. The early mornings that are now useful time. The evenings where I can do lots of things because I am sober.

I have been thinking about what I could do that would be useful. Could I visit the elderly?, become a school governor? Help out at a scout group?

After seeing our friend J yesterday, I have decided to spend the next year raising as much money as I can for Prostate cancer research.

The final event I will do is a 100 mile ride (sponsored), but I will also do cake sales, and whatever other charity events I can think of. Ideas gratefully received. I want to raise £5000 over the year, so I have some work to do. It will fill my evenings, get me fit , and hopefully help the charity that has funded research that is helping my friend.

 

Crisis defused

This morning I am like a wrung out dishcloth. I feel as though all my emotions and stress and anxiety over the past 3 years, all the hostility , frustration and tension, came to an explosion point yesterday afternoon.

I didn’t drink.

All the other adults were drinking, which was absolutely fine as my friend K brought me lovely cucumber and  mint presse. And then they all got a bit drunk, and that was ok too as everyone was happy & excited about our upcoming holiday.

And then my eldest son came home. And the trouble started.

The details don’t really matter, but all the resentments and hurt and anger that has been festering in our home, all the frustration and grievance with my eldest son, going back years came bursting out of Mr Lily. With the diplomatic  and loving support of K, and her 16 year old son (whose maturity and common sense was a revelation and a delight) my eldest son faced the rage, apologized and best of all, he and Mr Lily officially agreed to forget then past, move forward and treat each other with love and respect. They even had a hug. They have barely spoken a civil word to each for months, and they shook hands and had a hug

I have cried and cried and released so much of my hidden despair and anguish, the emotions from me, from my son and from Mr Lily was so powerful and so intense, it blasted through my defenses and left me vulnerable, raw and exhausted. Everyone, except me (and my eldest son) was pretty drunk, and it maybe that the alcohol allowed the frustration, anger and emotion to be expressed.

I did not drink. That was possibly the most stressful, emotionally painful, disquieting, situation I have faced for years. And I was sober. Thank God I was sober. I was able to speak honestly, passionately and at times I said things that were true but hurtful. I said all these things consciously, in a considered way. I spoke quietly without aggression. I could think clearly, and to some extent manipulate a painful emotionally damaging maelstrom of blame, criticism, anger and antipathy. If I had been drunk I believe it would have been so much worse.

I do not know how long this peace will last. I only know that today I am full of hope and love. I have my family back and with Mr Lily onside I believe we can guide and support my eldest son, and help him find a path to a career he can be happy in. If he can come home and feel loved welcomed and supported I believe we can guide him the correct way.

Sober this morning, I counted my blessings, hugged Mr Lily and thanked him for the huge effort he has made to overcome his anger. Then I went out with no 1 son, to a military recruitment center, to gather some information;  took him out for lunch and just talked to him. I hope he has turned a corner and we can ALL be happier and live together in harmony.

And I did not drink.  I DID NOT DRINK, I DID NOT DRINK

Tonight I am properly happy and content. And in 3 days I will be here

IMG_0428

 

 

 

Blogging

Just a very short post to capture this moment …

Being honest, really honest in a way that I have not been to any living person (I have told all this to Lola the dog, but she doesn’t have much in the way of advice) has produced some truly fantastic, thought provoking, honest, kind and supportive responses. 

I’ve been carrying this burden for the best part of three years. Living with the tension, the split loyalty, the loneliness, the feeling that I should be taking my sons side, but knowing that what he is doing is wrong .. 

AGAIN (and this is, on reflection, such a recurring theme in my life) I kept this to myself, wrestled with it, and until 5 months ago drank like a fish to avoid dealing with it. I seem never to learn that “a problem shared is a problem halved …. ”

So, I have much more to write, later… For now ….

Stark reality

It feels to me that my family is broken. It’s probably no more broken than it was when I was drinking, but I am much more aware of it, much more distressed by it, and much more conscious of my part in creating the current situation. I am also aware that it feels like only I can bring about a resolution.

But to do that I have to lose either my partner or my eldest son.

no wonder I feel I am breaking .

This is what all the last few days turmoil relates to, I think: swirling thoughts about loss, the anxiety I have been feeling, the lethargy, the lack of motivation. It’s a bit more than PAWS … It’s a very shocking and blunt realisation that there are insoluble problems in my closest family, that neither party involved is prepared to compromise on. And that this means my life needs to be dismantled again and rebuilt without one of the protagonists.

Im not sure I’m strong enough to do this, and yet NOT doing something is destroying me.

What would a woman who loved herself do ? I actually don’t know, but this woman is back to wondering if jumping is the only option I’m actually able to implement.

(don’t worry – I won’t do that; it would be too cruel to the younger boys)

mr lily will not talk to me. Or will not listen. Or will not understand. And will not  compromise . And my foolish immature son, full of hormones and seemingly incapable of recognising even now , that actions have consequences … Will do nothing at all to even try and abide by any rules.

And the younger two, and I are stuck. Stuck living in a house with a hostile corrosive atmosphere.

I suppose on the bright side, at least they have a sober mother to interact with …

Breakdown

In April 2014 I had a breakdown. Not a fully fledged, admitted to hospital, breakdown, but an acute episode of anxiety and depression that rendered me unable to cope with day to day life.

I snapped one morning in clinic. I had seen two well known patients and dealt with their concerns. The next was someone I didn’t know. I suddenly felt completely unable to think or make decisions. I felt that my brain was breaking apart. I developed a full blown panic attack, and despite knowing that it WAS a panic attack I was terrified and completely unable to get control of myself.

I was rescued by my dear friend and senior practice nurse, who calmly phoned my partner, cancelled the rest of my clinic, and got me an appointment to see an experienced GP.

The next few weeks passed in something of a blur. I was extremely anxious – at times it was hard to go out at all; I couldn’t THINK – and for someone who has always been decisive and relied on a sharp intellect and quick grasp of complex problems, this was truly terrifying. I was suicidal, in that I could see no way out of my problems other than jumping off a high building. I went only as far as planning which high building, and the rational part of my brain knew that suicide would be devastating for my family – but I still could see no other way out. I achieved very little in those first weeks. Lola, my dog, was a 3 month old puppy and I managed a short walk with her most days. That was about all.

I was well cared for, by an excellent GP who provided just the right mix of sympathy, support and direction; and by a fantastic service for physicians that was set up a few years ago in London. I was medicated and allowed to recover.

So far, so pretty normal to be honest. It didn’t feel like it, when it was me, but I had a fairly standard period of mental ill health and made a pretty good recovery. I was off work for 8 weeks.

The thing that struck me yesterday was that I was sober when this happened. The first time I stopped drinking was October 28th 2013 – so by April I had been largely sober for 5 months. (two evenings slip in that period) I had always thought that I broke down despite the fact that I was sober.

Now I wonder if it was because I was sober.

And that scares me. Because I feel truly awful right now. Anxious, irritable, flat, despairing, trapped and a bit desperate. My concentration is shot to pieces. I lack motivation to do anything at all.  I’m exhausted but struggling to sleep. And I am 5 months sober next Friday. What has alcohol been medicating all this time ? Currently I take an SSRI, which i was not doing last time… but …

I don’t know what to do

Loss

I am absolutely terrified of “loss”.

Most things in life I can accept with a degree of equanimity. At least I can face the prospect of them with a fatalistic composure. Loss / Ending, especially of relationships, fills me with fear. Actually its not the loss, its the intense grieving reaction that I have afterwards.

I think this dates back to when I was 18, and my first serious boyfriend dumped me. I grieved for several years, for the loss of a 6 month relationship. I was literally broken hearted. I told NO-ONE how desperately unhappy I was, because I was ashamed that I loved someone who didn’t love me, and I don’t think it occurred to me that this lengthy, intense grieving was abnormal. I was literally consumed with the loss. I couldn’t enjoy anything, I thought about HIM every single minute of every single day. My first thought on waking and my last before sleeping. Of course my thoughts and yearning were for what I thought I had lost – my image of a stability, a happy relationship, rather than the reality – I made lists of things about him that had annoyed and upset me  (and there were quite a few !! )- but this made absolutely no difference whatsoever to the depth of my suffering. I could not rationalise or think myself out of the enormous well of pain.  My yearning continued through my initial university years, probably until I was 22 and fell in love again. I can still remember vividly the aching void and the pain of the loss.

This happened again when I separated form a more serious boyfriend in my early 30’s. Although we were clearly unsuited for each other, I was not at all happy with him, and I ended the relationship, once it was over I entered another protracted period of intense grief. Same thing. Intellectually I knew it was best that the relationship was over, that I could move on, that it was going nowhere and giving me nothing …  by the end I didn’t even LIKE him much. But I was stuck grieving, keening, yearning for something that I felt I had lost. Bonkers. This time I DID recognise that the depth of my despair was a) ridiculous and b) not ‘normal’ ; but , possibly because I still couldn’t bring myself to speak of it to anyone, I never worked out why I reacted like this, or how I could respond more healthily in the future.

This intense aversion to loss, or fear of going through THAT disconsolate mourning process again, keeps me in situations I would be better off leaving. Or would I  ?  How much effort do others put into maintain relationships that are not making them happy ? With adult children? partners ? friends? How long do you go on trying to fix things ? when do you know that things just will not work out in a way that you can find acceptable, when and how do you walk away ? Or does everyone hate loss this much?  does everyone else compromise and bury what they need in order to ” keep the peace”.

These feeling too I drank to avoid. These hard questions are easier avoided, ignored and not aired….buried in a fuzzy head full of  wine … But they are still there, and one day, somehow they need resolving